Adrian Wiszniewski RSA: not now
Adrian Wiszniewski RSA RGI HonFRIAS HRSW (b.1958) has become one of the best-known artists working in Scotland since he achieved instant fame in the 1980s as one of the ‘New Glasgow Boys’. Having been recognised since his early career for his bold figuration and dreamlike scenarios, Wiszniewski has traversed a plethora of media and techniques. He has made sculptures and prints; designed tapestries, rugs, a clock tower and the restaurant of Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art; and written plays for both stage and film; but he always returns to painting as his medium of choice. Characterised by a persistent figurative element, his paintings are rich with symbolic, political and philosophical musings. Creating paintings heavily decorated with colour, pattern and irregular line, Wiszniewski has built an international reputation and gained extensive critical acclaim.
Often working on a heroic scale with energy and fluidity, Wiszniewski’s paintings offer instant sensual gratification but employ a wide visual language. Within an environment of huge, threatening plants painted in liquid, luminous colours of red, orange and yellow, the world appears out of kilter and in a state of decay. Interlacing both classical and contemporary iconography, the exhibition presents a garden of unearthly delights, full of theatrical moments and private discourses.
Wiszniewski was born in Castlemilk, Glasgow, in 1958 and trained in architecture before deciding to study fine art at Glasgow School of Art (1979-1983). Along with Ken Currie, Peter Howson and Steven Campbell, he was a leading figure in a revival of figurative painting in Scottish art. This group became known as the New Glasgow Boys after they were selected for a show entitled A Vigorous Imagination at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art. Wiszniewski was awarded the Lord Provost’s Medal from the City of Glasgow in 1999 and his work can be found in many international collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; Setagaya Museum, Tokyo; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Tate Britain, London; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He lives with his wife and children in Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire.